This year too VOICE&DATA made some revisions in last year's figures to came up with the consolidated growth and the top grossers of the segment. According to Voice&Data estimates, the audio video conferencing industry grew by 16% to register `391 crore in FY 2011-12 compared to `337 crore in FY 2010-11.
Making it to the top was Polycom. The company made quite a few announcements in the fiscal like RealPresence Mobile, the first enterprise HD video software solution for tablets, high-quality visual communications solutions enabling ease-of-use and adhering to best-of-breed open standards, which allows it to partner with the Polycom Open Collaboration Network Partners (POCN) such as Microsoft, IBM, HP, Avaya, Juniper, Broadsoft, McAfee, and Siemens and the launch of Polycom RealPresence cloud. The company's RealPresence platform is being used by airtel to deliver VaaS solutions to SMBs and enterprises throughout India.
The company kept on focusing on mobility, enterprises, and small-medium businesses. The company also focused on flexibility and brought out products that were of open standards and interoperable-this added to the portfolio of the products.
Following Polycom was Cisco. The company has maintained its extensive deployments in IT/ITeS, BFSI, manufacturing, and other verticals. Its telepresence business has flourished to provide customers with access to an integrated architecture, a comprehensive network based endpoint, and infrastructure portfolio.
The third company in the list was LifeSize. The company that is the manufacturer of videoconferencing in the world to provide mobility, cloud computing, and virtualized platforms in India is bullish on SMBs and enterprise market through the power of products like UVC platform.
Focusing on integrating conferencing, Avaya's planned acquisition of RADVISION, announced in March 2012, also created a compelling and differentiated solution designed to accelerate the adoption of video collaboration. The acquisition is expected to close during Q3 FY12, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The standout deal for Avaya in the recent months was the 20-country communications outsourcing services agreement with airtel which was announced in March. This deal is designed to deliver customer service excellence to airtel customers across South Asia and Africa.
Orange has expanded the telepresence community, its B2B telepresence solution, through interoperability agreements with various major players like AT&T, BT, Verizon, and Tata Communications.
The reasons for the impressive y-o-y performance by the audio-video segment are easy to anticipate. One of the biggest drivers of the communications industry today is the business need for seamless, instantaneous, and cost-effective mobility. With an escalating number of smart devices in the market, there is also an equal demand for creation of a smart ecosystem that fosters the integration of real-time communication services, thereby delivering value to the end consumer or enterprise.
The growth driver of this industry is the mission critical need for enterprises to remain agile in the tough competitive environment. Conferencing solutions allow organizations to bring key people together that are geographically dispersed into a single conference, to facilitate discussions, ideas, and decision-making. This helps reduce the time and cost associated with traveling. Additionally, less travel increases employee productivity by making employees more available for other meetings.
Rise in enterprise mobility, proliferation of 3G, high penetration of smart devices, and the growing young population are playing a major role in the uptake of the AV conferencing market in the country.
The constant challenge with video is ensuring that the infrastructure can keep up with the demand. In an enterprise context, you cannot simply add videoconferencing for all-from desktops or mobiles-without looking at your network and how it will support that. Having the right communications core-which supports multiple vendors, is device agnostic, supports open standards and interfaces, and is reliable and scalable to grow with your business-are all important considerations.
Talking about the technology in the interiors of the country still remains the untouched part of the segment. Pricing still remains a major issue as most conferencing deployments are quite expensive. Even though prices have been slashed globally for SMBs to adopt this solution, it is still an issue. Consistency of bandwidth is another issue. Reliable bandwidth is of prime importance for an immersive experience. Need for real-time applications is the need of the hour for managing the converged infrastructure.
With the government, healthcare, education, and enterprise verticals rapidly adopting the services, av conferencing has a long way to go. Small and medium sized enterprises are also going for diversified offerings which helps the SMEs stay neck-to-neck in competition with the bigger enterprises. With the idea of 'working from home' gaining popularity, the deployment of audio-video conferencing solutions is on the rise and increasingly becoming a must-have.